EP favours start of accession talks with Montenegro by year-end.

By bne IntelliNews March 10, 2011
The European Parliament (EP) welcomed the recent decision of the EU Council to grant candidate-country status to Montenegro and expressed hopes that the country could launch accession talks with the Union already this year, EP press office informed. EP acknowledged the country's good track record in implementing economic reforms. Montenegro remains a good news story in the Western Balkans, rapporteur Charles Tannock was quoting as saying. Still, the resolution raises several concerns, related to the areas of corruption, organised crime, gender equality and media independence. Montenegro applied for EU membership in December 2008 after signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the union in October 2007. The country officially became a candidate country for EU accession on December 17, 2010.

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